The City of San Diego is about to ban a host of vehicles from parking on city streets. This coming Monday, July 8th, the City Council will consider a new ordinance sponsored by 2nd District Council member Kevin Faulconer that prohibits city residents from parking oversized, non-motorized or recreational vehicles on any street within the city limits.
There are exceptions, of course. Vehicles performing service to the property or loading/unloading; government or public utility vehicles; buses used to transport youths or the disabled (party buses get no free pass); and, any vehicle displaying a valid permit.
To issue permits involves creating a new bureaucracy.
A permit will be good for only 24 hours and is obtained on-line. Only up to three (3) consecutive 24 hour permits may be issued. The cost is expected to be around $2 per day, limited by a Government Code that prevents the city from making a profit from permit fees. Permits are tied to specific street addresses.
A resident may obtain no more than 72 permits a year. The good news – the parking prohibition only applies to the hours of 2 am to 6 am. Perhaps graveyard shift police officers don’t have enough to do.
Normally parking is regulated by a broadly applied State law that allows vehicles to be parked along unpainted unregulated curb for up to 72 hours. Of course to be cited for a violation requires the police to chalk your tires to prove you have in fact exceeded the time. There’s not a lot of chalking (of tires) going on beyond limited commercial areas. But, like a wet blanket, this ordinance will effectively suspend that State law for larger vehicles across the entire city.
From Allied Gardens to San Ysidro, from City Heights to Ocean Beach, all 372 square miles of the City of San Diego will be affected. In other words, if you live in San Diego it will no longer be lawful for you to park at the curb in front of your house a boat, trailer, work truck, RV or any vehicle longer than 27 feet or taller than 7 feet, even if you move it within the 72 hour limit. Without a permit your vehicle could be cited and charged a $100 fine.
Limited to just 72 days a year City residents will feel the pinch but tourists should be okay. In fact, tourists might even feel empowered. With a permit in hand they may feel justified in dropping their toys off in about any neighborhood at any time. Then again, according to some, this is already happening.
Scott Chipman, a member of the Pacific Beach Community Planning Group (PBCPG) has been making the rounds promoting what he describes as the “parking protection ordinance”. Scott sees three problems; tourists who park their RV’s and boats around Mission Bay, especially PB. Irresponsible neighbors who buy “toys” as Scott puts it – boats or RV’s – and park them in front of their homes. And lastly the homeless, people who setup housekeeping in a vehicle on the street. The city already has laws against sleeping in vehicles and parking unattached trailers (boats).
According to Chipman the PBCPG endorsed the idea of this ordinance several years ago. The idea of a pilot program was reportedly kicked around. It’s unclear why years have passed or if anything has occurred recently to reawaken this new law.
As Scott Chipman sees it the ordinance proposed by Faulconer is not strong enough. He said:
“This one (doesn’t) sting enough for me. It allows vehicles to get a permit and then park anywhere on the block. Not just in front of the permit address. Also, Enforcement is limited to 2am to 6 am. Should start at midnight.”
With the issues between Mayor Filner and the Republicans, some of the language of this new ordinance needs to be shared.
Section 86.0142 “Permit Process for Temporary Overnight Parking on Public Streets”, (a) The City Manager has the authority… or (g) “The fee for obtaining the permit shall be established by resolution of the Council based upon the recommendation of the City Manager.”
Most of us know that the City Manager was replaced by the strong mayor concept some five years ago. The Mayor now has the executive authority once held by the City Manager. Seems sponsor Faulconer and City Attorney Goldsmith could not bring themselves to write “the Mayor” into this new ordinance.